Beethoven wrote his music for the play ‘Egmont’
out of a passion for both the playwright – Goethe –
and the subject matter – the plight of the oppressed.
In the tense and dramatic Overture he conveys a great sense of
struggle and the tragedy of the Count of Egmont, who is sentenced
to death for his support of his oppressed Dutch countrymen, but
faces his execution with courage and dignity after being shown
in a dream that his death will lead to rebellion and eventual victory for his people.
In a lighter vein, Hummel’s trumpet concerto is a joyful romp
which will be great fun for everyone, including our soloist Jon Yates
who hails from Lee-on-the-Solent and has a great pedigree as a
former Professor of Trumpet at the Royal Marines Band School of Music
in Portsmouth and performer with many professional orchestras
including the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Mendelssohn was a frequent visitor to Britain, and was first inspired to
write his ‘Scottish’ Symphony by a visit to Holyrood Palace
in Edinburgh in 1829. After some initial sketches, he put the
symphony aside, but completed the ‘Hebrides’ Overture
inspired by a visit to Staffa during the same trip.
He eventually completed the symphony during 1842 in Berlin.
The slow third movement is beautiful and in the livelier movements,
although he doesn’t directly quote any Scottish folk dance or
song, it’s easy to hear the influence of this music.
You can really smell the heather and see the mist rolling off the hills!